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Measuring Psychological Resilience

James Neill
02 Nov 2004

Measuring Resilience

Resilience could be both a predictor and outcome, depending on the theoretical focus of research.  However, for program evaluations of interventions, resilience is generally considered an outcome (i.e., a dependent variable).

When measuring the impact of resilience-building intervention programs, consider whether:

  • the program targets resilience per se and you want a direct measure of psychological resilience, or

  • the program targets a range of development outcomes which collectively, but more loosely, represent the notion of resilience

If the program specifically targets resilience, there are a limited range of measurement tools, including Wagnild and Young's Resilience Scale.  There may, however, be better options out there, particularly for measuring resilience in children and adolescences - e.g., see the review by Karen Hurtes in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal (2001?).

If the program targets a range of development outcomes which more loosely represent resilience, then there are a wider range of tools, instruments, and questionnaires which measure the impacts on a variety of psycho-social constructs.